Racing has taken place for a few weeks now. It’s great to have some live sport back on TV even if it’s not what we are used to. Here are some of my observations:

Old Normal

  • Frankie Detori is simply miles clear of all his rivals in the UK weighroom. He just highlighted what we already knew at Royal Ascot. He is a man against boys. Some of his opposition leave a bit to be desired, but Frankie is surely up there as one of the all time greats now.
  • Dermot Weld and Ballybrit. Many who were tuned into Roscommon on the 22nd of June may just have had similar thoughts to myself….Time will tell!
  • Galileo. The Group 1 races keep rolling. He is a superstar.

New Normal

  • Seamie Heffernan is riding like a man possessed and must have spent lockdown in the gym. It’s great to see him so strong in a driving finish.
  • Ger Lyons ability to train a racehorse is unquestionable. He is an outspoken individual and isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. But one can only admire a self-made man who is heading for the very top of his profession.
  • Jessica Harrington. Chaser or sprinter, it doesn’t seem to matter. Maybe it’ll be easier become champion flat trainer than champion jumps trainer in Ireland!?
  • RTE racing coverage. Its brilliant. Jane Mangan and Ruby Walsh are superb. Brian Gleeson’s interview with Aidan O’ Brien on Guineas weekend about the logistics of travelling horses to the UK was fascinating. In my opinion, they are a million miles ahead of ITV.
  • Racing behind closed doors. It’s better than nothing but it’s sad to see a soulless winner’s enclosures after big races. Kameko and Siskin spring to mind. I feel sorry for connections. Hopefully with France allowing 5,000 people to attend meetings in early July, Ireland and Britain will follow their lead.
  • Results. Never before have I seen 40/1 and 20/1 winners of 2 maiden hurdles at an Irish race meeting. Did Limerick on the 22nd June set a new record?!

The above are just a few thoughts and personal opinions on the first few weeks of racing. I think Arthurs Kingdom can run well in the Irish Derby if he takes his chance and Vatican City would be my selection for the Epsom show piece. I hope you are enjoying the racing in these very bizarre times and even making a few quid if you are having a bet! I don’t think I’ll be back on course until August at the earliest. It’s very frustrating but we are beginning to see the finishing line! Plenty of organising and preparation for our return to work is going on in the background for when we do get the green light. Until then, I’ll just have to enjoy the top class flat racing which is coming at us thick and fast.

All the best,